Kolkata: Apprehensive of large-scale rigging in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, major opposition parties in the state today urged the Election Commission to ensure that the election was held under strict vigil of the central forces.
"Each and every booth should have armed guards to ensure there is no intimidation and free, fair and peaceful polling is held," opposition parties CPI(M), Congress and BJP urged the EC during their interaction with Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi.
All three opposition parties were apprehending that there would be massive rigging in the elections this time and sought EC`s decision to conduct the entire polling under close vigil of the central forces.
During a one to one interaction with nine registered national and state political parties here, CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb even questioned the impartiality of the state`s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sunil Gupta, while urging the EC to strengthen the poll panel to ensure justice for all.
Demanding central forces in all booths, Deb urged the Commission to hold guilty officials accountable, encourage those who are impartial and ensure smooth campaigning for all parties, helping people to cast their votes without fear.
The Congress also demanded central forces in all booths, besides pre-poll patrolling by central forces in all vulnerable areas.
Congress leader Manas Bhuniya demanded strict monitoring by the poll panel for appointment of election officials, besides strict monitoring by the CEO against violation of the MCC.
BJP state president Rahul Sinha urged the EC to take over the charge of law and order in the state and specially run the election process with 100 per cent deployment of central forces and forces from other states.
"Only then a level-playing field can be assured for all political parties," he said.
"We have reasonable apprehension that the ruling Trinamool Congress will create disturbances during polling, threaten and intimidate opposition party workers and may even intimidate the polling officials," Sinha said.
"We have seen such things even during the Left Front regime and the present government has become famous for copying them," Sinha said alleging that the state government was acting in an extremely partisan manner.
Soon after his interaction with political parties, Zutshi also reviewed the law and order situation in the state in a meeting with DMs, SPs and other senior officials.